Features - Alum of the Month

Lawson Ricketts

Lawson Ricketts

February 2012

London Programme

September 2006 Intake


What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
James Madison University, 2005
Communication Studies

What made you apply for the Mountbatten programme?
Due to excessive involvement in student activities as an undergraduate, I was not able to study abroad. I was working as a financial aid counselor in Charlotte, NC and found the programme on studyabroad.com and wanted to live abroad. I saw Mountbatten as a means to gaining valuable work experience and having the opportunity to live in London.

Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
I worked for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, a large international law firm, as a Learning and Development Assistant. Joining a small team, the needs of L&D were immediate and I soon found myself increasingly taking on responsibilities such as planning development forums internationally, coordinating weekly training workshops, and managing Partner language skill training. My role increased further once a member of our three person team became ill and I took over further responsibilities including coordinating development programs for junior associates monthly in Paris.

What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
I have two highlights, one personal and one more professional. Personally, as one of only a few Mountbatten’s working at Freshfields, we were seen as quite an enigma. Professionally, the opportunity to travel to Paris on a monthly basis, managing large training functions for junior associates was quite a daunting experience.

Lawson with Isobel Hedges (Director of London office) Feb 12

What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
Gosh, where to begin? I think those first few weeks after just moving into Jerome House were probably the most memorable. Being thrown into central London, making new friends, and managing a new job all at the same time were experiences I will never forget.

Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship
Do everything and anything you can. Experience things. Put yourself out there. You will always remember the people who you share an experience like Mountbatten with.

If you could change anything about your internship, what would it be?
I wish I hadn’t slept! I should’ve been at the pub more, marathon training more, traveling Europe more, studying more, working more…

What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
Along with almost every other Mountbatten from my intake, I moved to New York City. Luckily, several projects I had worked on in London were not complete and Freshfields transferred my placement to the NYC office where I woke up at 4am to work remotely to complete the work necessary. I shared an apartment with Thomas Cabalerro where we experienced NYC similarly to London.
Following a year in New York, I moved to Johannesburg, South Africa to live with my partner whom I met while in London. I have now been in Joburg for almost 3 ½ years…

Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
I am now pursuing a Master’s of Science in Higher Education from Drexel University. In addition, I am currently managing dual careers in home renovation and university student services.

Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
Shortly, I will have completed renovating a 100 year old historic home in Johannesburg and hope to take on another similar project again soon (perhaps in America…). I also hope to become Dean of Students or Dean of Admissions at a university following completion of my degree program (and perhaps Doctorate) and many years of experience. I hope to continue traveling the world, one day settling on a boat in the Florida Keys.

Is there any other information that you would like to be included?
Please everyone keep in touch as it’d be great to hear what wonderful things fellow Mountbatten’s are doing around the world!